We Love Soaps: How did the idea for FAMILY DINNER come about?
Lauralee Bell: I have six things that I've written that I had tucked away. I came up with FAMILY DINNER years ago, and I kind of put it on the backburner. I really have to hand it with Martha Byrne. She sat me down with Anne Clemmons, who had worked with her and done a lot of shorts. Martha said we were both talented and didn't know if we would work together, but wanted to talk about ideas everyone has, say goodbye, and see what happens.
I talked about so many other things I had ideas for, and when we were leaving I said, 'Wait, I have this FAMILY DINNER thing.' After the writer's strike, I wanted to do something where fans could write in, and if they come up with a great family dinner topic, we could use it, and they would get a "concept by" credit. I thought it would be fun if [FAMILY DINNER actress] Phyllis Diller was reciting your concept.
So a couple of weeks went by, and Anne and I emailed and agreed to do it. Scott and I met with another producer, Chris, and the four us began looking at locations and to cast the show. It was just quick, and all of a sudden it was done.